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Tech Director Chat #009 – OMG! We Passed the Bond!

The Tech Savvy Educator - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 20:07

Alright, so the voters of my school district’s community passed the bond. But I’m still excited as the two previous bond attempts failed. That means we’ve got a whole lot of changes in store for the district in the near future, and there’s a lot of questions to explore!

This week’s episode of Tech Director Chat touches on a lot of bond-related questions, but is also balanced out by ongoing issues that many school districts have related to technology; how do you bring students into the decision making process, what projects take priority over others when money is scarce, and general questions about “life, the universe, and everything.” This week see’s the continuation of “Stump Pete”, in which Pete shares his complete disdain for Disco, and introduces actual names of those submitting questions. It feels like we’re getting closer and closer to Car Talk (RIP Tom Magliozzi), but I’m not getting any ideas of grandeur. This podcast is first and foremost for the teachers in my district, and I hope serves as a model for others to adopt, build upon, or tinker with so they can create new inroads with their own teaching staff.

You can go listen, download, or subscribe to the Podcast via iTunes using this link, or listen using the embedded player below.

Timestamps for this week’s questions:

1:17 We passed both our bonds? YAY!

1:53 What has Pete been up to today?

2:58 Did Pete bring anything back from Prague for us?

3:48 Does the passing of the bond mean that we will have 1:1 computing?

4:55 Can you give us an example of a project that’s been put “on hold” as we’ve been building up laptops?

7:30 Jeff asks, what does the passing of the bond mean for each building?

8:54 What are the plans for the architects and bond consultants for getting input from teachers and the community?

10:10 Wait, we have to hire a technology consultant for the bond? Isn’t that Pete’s job?

12:45 Nicole from Twitter asks, how do you get more students involved with requesting apps and websites for being unblocked?

17:44 Angie asks, if you could ask Stephen Hawking anything, what would you ask him?

19:43 Stump Pete! Jeff asks, what was the first major sound innovation after “Rock and Roll?”


Tech Director Chat – OMG! We Passed the Bond!

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New Samsung Galaxy Lollipop Update Details Emerge

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:51

New Samsung Galaxy Lollipop Update Details Emerge is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

New Samsung Galaxy Lollipop update details have emerged today ahead of the highly anticipated Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release that’s expected to replace the current Android 4.4 KitKat update in 2015.

In June, Google took the stage at Google I/O 2014 and announced a slew of new products including Android 5.0 Lollipop, its replacement for Android 4.4 KitKat. At the time, the company showed off a number of new features including the update’s Material Design that delivers massive changes to the look and feel of the Android operating system. The company did not, however, confirm an Android 5.0 release date.

In October, Google confirmed the Android 5.0 Lollipop for Nexus devices and it’s expected to land sometime this month for the Nexus 7, Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 10. Nexus devices won’t be the only ones getting the update though. Several companies including HTC, LG, Motorola, and Sony have confirmed upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop releases for their devices. Samsung, however, isn’t talking about Android 5.0 though we’ve seen a number of Galaxy Lollipop update details emerge in recent days.

Last week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop release became all but confirmed thanks to a massive leak the exposed the contents of an early release build. Today, SamMobile’s leaked the Galaxy S4 Lollipop release alongside the Galaxy S4’s Android 4.4 KitKat update to highlight the differences between the two pieces of software.

The video, which highlights the major differences between the two pieces of software, shows off the new look and several of the new features expected to arrive with not just the Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update but Samsung’s other Android 5.0 Lollipop updates as well. The Android 5.0 Lollipop update includes changes to the Settings, Lock Screen, dialer, and performance. The site harps on the update’s enhanced performance, something that is vital to a device that’s nearing its second birthday.

One thing to keep in mind though is that this is likely an early Android 5.0 Lollipop build. The Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 release isn’t expected to arrive until 2015 which means that features, and performance, can and probably will change in the build up to the release. Everything, including the release date, is dependent on the testing process which can be extremely unpredictable.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update isn’t the only update rumored for arrival. The Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note 3 are all expected to get the Android 5.0 Lollipop update down the road with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 updates rumored for November or December. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 are expected to be first in line to the update though nothing is confirmed.

Devices like the all new Samsung Galaxy Alpha should be in good shape as well as Samsung typically extends software updates for two years. Smartphones like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 sit in a gray area. Both devices are now more than two years old which means that there’s a chance they will not get Android 5.0 and the features coming with it. Samsung hasn’t confirmed anything yet so the door remains open for all devices hovering in and around the two year mark.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is also expected to roll out to a number of Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 competitors including the Moto X, HTC One M8, and HTC One M7. Motorola’s appears set to roll out an Android 5.0 Lollipop update to its Moto X 2014 and LG says that it plans to start its LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop release this week. These releases will put pressure on Samsung to deliver its updates in a timely manner.

Samsung’s Android 5.0 Lollipop release is expected to push deep into 2015 as the company works to upgrade all of its compatible Galaxy smartphones and tablets. With tons of devices in hundreds of different markets, the process could take several months or more to complete.

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New Samsung Galaxy Lollipop Update Details Emerge is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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LG G3 Android 5.0 Update Release Date Confirmed

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 17:30

LG G3 Android 5.0 Update Release Date Confirmed is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

When Google announced the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Android operating system, many smartphone owners were excited about the changes, but not sure when their handset would receive it. And while typically Nexus devices are up first, and LG has been slow in the past, the LG G3 Android 5.0 update is coming sooner than many expected.

Last week a few reports and rumors suggested the LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update was progressing rather quickly, and could arrive within a matter of weeks, not months. This weekend however, LG officially announced the G3 Android 5.0 update release date.

Read: LG G3 vs Nexus 6: Size Comparison

Good news arrived for the LG G3 this weekend, as LG officially confirmed they’ll be the first manufacturer to officially rollout the new Android 5.0 update to one of its devices, starting this week. Beating Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and possible even some of the Google Play Edition devices to Google’s latest update. Read on for all the details.

Earlier this year LG announced its brand new flagship G3 smartphone. Offering one of the best overall devices so far in 2014 with top-tier specs, an impressive 5.5-inch Quad-HD display like the Nexus 6, and extremely small bezels making for a big screen but a small, pocketable and portable handset. But software plays a key roll in a smartphone release, and updates need to be timely.

In the past LG hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to updates, but they aim to change that in 2014 and 2015. LG will be the first global smartphone manufacturer to deliver the brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade in 2014, starting with the LG G3 in Poland, and other regions in the very near future.

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LG is absolutely committed to giving our customers the best mobile experiences available and bringing Android Lollipop to G3 owners as soon as possible is a top priority,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The new features and improvements in Android 5.0 will bring a whole new user experience to the G3 and make it even better than it already is.

Above is a quote from the LG G3 press release that went out this weekend confirming the LG G3 Android 5.0 update is coming this week. There’s no solid release date, except that in Poland users will start to see the update arrive via the usual over the air update method before the end of the week.

This is only for Poland, and surely the LG G3 update in the manufacturers home region will receive is extremely soon as well, but we’ve yet to receive any details regarding the LG G3 Android 5.0 update in the United States. Typically software needs to be finished, then go through a 3-4 week testing phase from respective carriers. This means that while the LG G3 update has started this week outside the US, owners stateside shouldn’t expect it for at least a few more weeks, at best.

The LG G3 Android 5.0 update in the United States was originally stated to arrive before the end of the year, but at this rate we could see it inside the month of November, or by early December. As soon as LG or carriers confirm any details, or additional leaks surface, we’ll update will everything you’ll need to know.

Also, for those with the LG G2, we’ve also received confirmation that it will receive Android 5.0 Lollipop, but that may not arrive until early 2015. We’ll have to wait and see.

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LG G3 Android 5.0 Update Release Date Confirmed is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Best Windows 8 Notebooks & 2-in-1s

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 19:22

5 Best Windows 8 Notebooks & 2-in-1s is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

That Windows 8 notebook and 2-in-1s are so exciting is a testament to how much the computing industry has changed since Microsoft last shipped a major update to its Windows 8 operating system.

It wasn’t that long ago that every Windows notebook you could possibly purchase came with some basic flourishes. Each had a clam shell design that allowed buyers to open them up. Opening a notebook revealed everything users needed immediately. A keyboard and trackpad sat embedded in the bottom portion of the notebook. A display and webcam sat in the top section. You changed the angle of the display to get the best viewing angle and that was pretty much it.

Read: Windows 8.1 Review

The Windows 8 notebooks that we have today are completely different beasts. You really can take everything you knew about notebooks before and throw it out of a window. Notebooks today still have a clamshell design, but hinges allow their screens to be laid flat on top of them for a tablet experience. Some allow users to remove their displays and use them as tablets completely separate from the rest of the machine. Notebooks that don’t do either of these two things offer prices so low that they’re cheaper than video game console or a mid-range tablet.

Here are 5 of the best Windows 8 notebooks & 2-in-1s that you can purchase through the holiday season. Each offers something buyers will appreciate if they’re upgrading from older machines.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series1 / 5

One of the first major feature changes to be introduced in the Windows experience was suicide hinges. Instead of having hinges that opened up to a 90 degree angle, PC makers devised new hinges that let users flip their screens back. This opened up an entirely new world for users. Suddenly you could give a presentation from your notebook and get the keyboard out-of-the-way by flipping the screen completely backward.

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The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series is a great example of these types of hinges. Buyers can open the display and use it like a typical laptop or fold their display back and use the Windows 8 notebook more like a tablet. As its name suggests there’s an 11.6-inch touch display with a Windows button for users to interact with.

The basic version includes Windows 8.1, the latest version of Windows, 4GB of Memory, a 500GB hard drive and an Intel Celeron Dual-Core processor for $399. That processor isn’t the fastest around, but ports for USB, card readers and a single HDMI port make the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series a good buy.

[ Buy the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series from Dell for $399 ]

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5 Best Windows 8 Notebooks & 2-in-1s is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity Release: 5 Things You Need to Know

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 17:15

Assassin’s Creed Unity Release: 5 Things You Need to Know is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Assassin’s Creed Unity Release might be one of the most anticipated versions of Assassin’s Creed yet, with a focus on the Xbox One and PS4 and an exciting new setting that should leverage the power of the new consoles.

By focusing on Assassin’s Creed Unity for the PS4 and Xbox One, the developer can ditch the limitations of the older consoles to deliver an experience that feels more like the game we wanted last year.

Add in the option to free roam a high-detailed Paris France with your team of Assassin’s and you have a lot to be excited about. For users without a new console, there is a new Assassin’s Creed Rogue release bringing an updated, but different game to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is $59.99 at Amazon, with special editions  jumping the price up to $129 with added items.

Assassin’s Creed Unity Release Date

Here’s what you need to know about the Assassin’s Creed Unity release date and other details.

The Assassin’s Creed Unity release date is November 11th. There is no special day early access, but you can already buy the Assassin’s Creed Unity Xbox One Bundle.

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You can find Assassin’s Creed Unity in most stores where video games are sold and you don’t need a pre-order to get the game on release day, though there are some bonuses for pre-ordering.

You can also buy a digital copy of Assassin’s Creed Unity for PS4 and Xbox One. There is a basic $59.99 option and a digital special edition for $89.99. Check out our Assassin’s Creed Unity release details for links and more on where to buy the new Assassin’s Creed game.

You can also buy the Assassin’s Creed Unity Collector’s Edition with a 16-inch statue, wooden music box, art book, soundtrack and over 45 minutes of added gameplay.

Assassin’s Creed Unity Xbox One Bundle

There is a Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle for $350 without a Kinect that includes a Xbox One, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Unity. This is a great deal if you need an Xbox One.

You can get a free copy of Assassin’s Creed Unity when you buy this Xbox One bundle.

There is also a bundle with the Xbox One and Kinect, plus the two games for $449, which is a deal if you want to use Kinect features with your Xbox One.

Midnight Assassin’s Creed Unity Release Events

Best Buy and Walmart confirmed that they will stay open late for the Assassin’s Creed Unity release date to offer the game for sale at 12:01 AM local time on November 11th. This means you’ll head to the store on Monday evening to pay for the game, but you can’t leave with the game until the clock moves over to Tuesday.

Check to make sure your Best Buy is open for the midnight Assassin’s Creed Unity release date event, as not all stores are open. Most GameStop stores will be open for Assassin’s Creed Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection release as well.

Assassin’s Creed Unity Pre-Order Bonus

Score extra missions when you pre-order Assassin’s Creed Unity.

When you pre-order Assassin’s Creed Unity you unlock a special Chemical Revolution Mission where you “Experience an explosive extra mission that involves a genius chemist, a secret formula and a plot for revenge!”

Amazon includes an Armor Splitter Axe, GameStop a Razor Head Spear and at Best Buy you get the Over Under Pistol.

There is also a spin to win game that you can enter to win prizes, but the in-game items are a bigger draw.

Assassin’s Creed Unity Deals

Unless you are buying the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle there aren’t many deals available now. You can save $10 when you pre-order from Best Buy. You need to be a My Best Buy member to get this, which is free. When you pre-order Assassin’s Creed Unity through Best Buy you’ll get $10 towards a future purchase. This isn’t an insane deal, but it’s all you can find now.

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Assassin’s Creed Unity Release: 5 Things You Need to Know is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Review

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 17:15

AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Review is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

In a world of smartphones with built-in personal hotspots that share the phone’s data connection, where does a dedicated hotspot like the AT&T Unite Pro Hostspot fit? Can this apparent anachronism surprise potential buyers? Is it worth an extra $20/month on a contract and either a 2-year commitment or up to $200 when purchased without a contract? If you need more versatility than your phone’s hotspot can offer, the answer is yes.

The AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot does enough to make it a worthy tool in a road warrior’s bag, especially if she works with a group of people on the go. The hotspot offers great battery life, connects up to 15 devices to LTE, and charges USB-powered devices or phones.

The AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot by Netgear connects up to 15 devices and lasts all day or charges USB-powered devices like a battery backup.

Video Review

AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Design

The AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot has a capacitive touchscreen on top of something the size of a deck of cards. The power button turns the device on or off with a long press. Tap it to wake up the display when it’s on. A flashing indicator light shows the user the Hotspot various states as follows:

  • Slow blue blink – data connection ready
  • Double blue blink – transferring data
  • Slow amber blink – sleep mode

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On the bottom edge, there are two FME connections for a 5db external antennae made by Netgear to boost signal strength. I didn’t need the boost since the internal antenna provided an ample connection to AT&T’s LTE in my area.

In the middle of the bottom edge we find the micro-USB port. It serves double duty. The port charges the 4020mAh internal battery. There’s also a special cable that reverses the power flow so that the internal battery can charge a USB-powered device, like a phone or small tablet. It’s a hotspot and a battery backup capable of juicing up a phone or tablet.

The built-in 2.4″ capacitive touch screen feels responsive and shows up brightly enough in most settings.

Take off the plastic back with a rubberized non-skid texture to get at the battery and micro-SIM card. The four non-skid feet keep it in place on a car dash while running down the road so passengers can keep working enroute to a meeting. Without the battery the device feels feather light, so you know the battery makes up most of the 4.47 ounces.

Along the right side of the screen we get the home and back buttons. The controls work great.

Netgear designed this with the road warrior in mind. It’s pocket-sized and easy to carry around.

Netgear used a proprietary BatteryBoost cable. The user can only use that cable to charge the device. I wish they designed the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot so that the user didn’t need a special cable. This would mean a second USB port and some added manufacturing cost that they’d likely pass on to consumers, but it would be worth the money.

AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Battery Life

AT&T and Netgear promise up to 16 hours of battery life while in constant use. We never ran it all the way down, but it does last all day under normal usage, with our longest session lasting about 12 hours with just under 20 percent left.

Turn on the BatteryBoost feature to charge up an external device and the 4020mAh battery can easily top off the battery of an iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 Plus, the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the four phones we tested it with. The thing also boosted an 8.4″ Samsung Galaxy Tab S. It struggled to charge an iPad Air.

The AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot offers a 30, 60 or 90 minute BatteryBoost to your USB-powered device.

AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot User Interface

The AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot user-interface gets laid out to make it easy to see usage details, change settings and turn on the 30, 60 or 90 minute BatteryBoost feature. The main features show up as software buttons on the home screen, as seen below.

We see the status of the device’s LTE connection along with battery life on the status bar across the top. The user can choose whether to display their Wi-Fi hotspot’s password and broadcast name on the main screen inside settings, or hide it as I’ve done.

The center of the main screen shows the user’s data usage and time left till the account resets. I loved this feature of the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot. Until AT&T recently doubled data capacity limits, my family often came up against our data limit.

To start the BatteryBoost, tap the on-screen button in the middle of the bottom row of the home screen. To the left of the BatteryBoost button, we get a button that opens the Wi-Fi settings screen. The right button opens the device settings screen.

Under Wi-Fi settings we get…

  • Main Wi-Fi – lets user edit Wi-Fi signal broadcast name and password
  • Dual Band Wi-Fi – turn on/off the dual-band 2.4 and 5GHz radios
  • Guest Wi-Fi – controls the guest Wi-Fi feature, which lets people use the connection without giving them access to other devices on the network
  • Devices – lets the user control devices that use the hotspot’s Wi-Fi
  • WPS – sets up a WPS connection which lets devices that support it connect to the hotspot with the tap of a button
  • Messages – shows any messages from AT&T

Under the device settings screen, the user can do the following…

  • Put the device into Airplane mode, which turns off LTE and Wi-Fi but not BatteryBoost.
  • Show mobile broadband information.
  • Control Wi-Fi standby time, range, and password.
  • Control display settings, like whether to show the Wi-Fi password and signal name on the home screen.
  • USB Tethering lets the user turn this feature on so a user can connect to the hotspot’s broadband connection via USB instead of Wi-Fi.
  • Shows the device information, update the hotspot’s software, reset the device or turn on the on-screen tutorial.
AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Speed

I tested the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot speed three different ways. First, in an area with a solid LTE connection, I connected an iPhone 6 Plus to the hotspot and ran one speed test.

Speed test while connected to the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot.

Next, I ran a speed test without connecting to the hotspot using the phone’s internal LTE.

Finally, I tested the speed of the phone using my office Wi-Fi network, rated for 50Mbps from Charter, just for comparison.

Speed test connected to my office Wi-Fi served by Charter Cable Internet at 50Mbps.

It’s hard to believe, but the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot gave the fastest results between the two LTE speed tests. I tested it a few more times to confirm the results.

The hotspot didn’t offer the same results as a fast cable Internet connection connected to an 802.11ac router. Also, there’s a little latency, as the Ping results took longer on both straight LTE and through the Hotspot than they do over cable.

AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Usefulness

AT&T charges $49.99 for the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot with a 2-year contract. Off-contract it costs $199.99. Since most modern smartphones include a hotspot feature, why would anyone incur this cost for a dedicated Hotspot? There are three reasons.

  1. The BatteryBoost feature helps people get more life out of their USB-powered devices.
  2. Most phones won’t let users connect 15 devices.
  3. We get all-day battery life while not draining a phone’s battery as it shares its data connection.

Business users who travel as a team will like the versatility. Families will enjoy the simplicity of an all-day connection while on a vacation. We gladly recommend the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot for these kinds of users.

AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Specs

Here’s a detailed list of the AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot specs, including processor, memory, connectivity and battery life:

  • Qualcomm MDM9225 and WTR1605L processors and 512MB of RAM
  • 2.4″ Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Dual-band Wi-fi with support for up to 15 devices
  • AT&T LTE Network and global connectivity
  • 4020mAh battery
  • Up to 16 hours of usage time
  • Up to 16 days of standby time
  • BatteryBoost to top off USB powered devices
  • 1 USB port that charges the device and with an adapter will charge other devices using internal battery
  • 2 magnetic connection ports for external antennae
  • 2.23″ long x .77″ thick x 3.64″ wide
  • 4.47 ounces
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AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot Review is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Xbox One & PS4 GTA 5 Deal Cuts Price by $30

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 01:43

Xbox One & PS4 GTA 5 Deal Cuts Price by $30 is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 release is coming up later this month and if you own an old copy of GTA 5 on PS3 or Xbox 360 you can save $30 on your upgrade.

Gamers hoping for a GTA 5 trade-in deal need to take note as Target’s leaked ad shows double the GTA 5 trade in value offered by Best Buy and GameStop for the PS3 and Xbox 360 GTA 5 disks.

There are several catches to this Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 trade-in deal that you’ll need to take note of, but for users who can join in, it’s a great way to get the new GTA 5 release without paying full price again.

A leaked Target ad shows a big Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 deal.

The Target ad, that should start during the week of November 16th or 17th, shows a $30 coupon towards the Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 game when you trade in an old version. There does not appear to be any limitation to the trade-up deal in terms of consoles. You should be able to trade-in a Xbox 360 copy for the PS4 GTA 5 game, and the same for PS3 to Xbox One.

There is a limit of one coupon per guest, but that’s all most players need to get their GTA 5 deal for the new PS4 and Xbox One version.

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Of course leaked ads like this can be faked, but so far it looks like this is a real ad, and it this is likely better than any GTA 5 Black Friday deals you might find later this month. The only better deal would be if you are buying a PS4, as we’ve seen two options to buy a PS4 for $399 with GTA 5 and The Last of Us Remastered on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 screenshots show upgraded graphics.

In order to get this deal you will need to find a Target that participates in trade-ins. This means a Target Mobility location — something you won’t find at every store. You’ll also experience limited hours compared to Target overall, so plan ahead. You can use the Target Trade-In program website to find a participating Target location near you.

You can only do this in-store, and so far there are no other promotions like it from Best Buy or GameStop. Best Buy offered big trade-in values for Madden and Call of Duty, so there is still hope that a new Best Buy ad will deliver some type of Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 deal. Look for an ad on November 16th confirming this deal for trading up to the new GTA 5 release.

The new Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 release delivers an incredible visual upgrade based on what Rockstar shared about the game. Although gamers will play through the same city and missions, the graphics show much more detail and there is a new first person mode that changes the overall look of the game.

You can see the new Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 first person mode in the video above. This new mode includes first person combat and first person driving. You don’t need to play GAT 5 first person mode, but it is an option in the cameras. This is only on the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. Users who upgrade can bring their GTA Online character to the new game as well.

Expect to see the same cheats help users gain more health, armor, ammo and cars with Xbox One and PS4 GTA 5 cheats and tricks.

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Xbox One & PS4 GTA 5 Deal Cuts Price by $30 is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Black Friday 2014 Ads: Watch Out for Inflated Savings

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 22:50

Black Friday 2014 Ads: Watch Out for Inflated Savings is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Black Friday 2014 ads are leaking and early Black Friday 2014 deals are here — but buyers need to watch out for inflated savings.

Retailers love to use the reputation of Black Friday, the rush to get a deal before it sells out and the hype surrounding the shopping holiday to push shoppers into spending more money.

We always see bad Black Friday deals that everyone should avoid from big name retailers, but we also see Black Friday deals that seem better than they actually are because retailers use an inflated retail price, or an old retail price.

Read: Apple Black Friday 2014 Predictions

When it comes to Black Friday 2014, we’re already seeing deals claim inflated savings and there are sure to be more uses of this common Black Friday trick.

Black Friday 2014 deals include inflated savings.

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The early Walmart Black Friday 2014 ad shows an iPad mini for $199, which was an amazing deal in 2013, offering $100 off, but now it’s only $50 in savings on an old iPad. Instead of showing the savings compared to the iPad mini at Apple which is $50, Walmart uses the old list price to show an extra $50 in savings.

To be clear this is the same iPad mini that you can go to Apple or Best Buy today and buy for $250. Saving $50 is a great deal and even on this older iPad it is one that many shoppers should jump on, but by inflating the savings Walmart can convince users that they are getting a better deal which can lead to more spending on accessories and other items.

We expect to see $50 off the iPad mini through Black Friday 2014 in a number of deals that drop the price to $199 — but the savings only adds up to $50.

This is not the only time we will see this happen and as more Black Friday 2014 ads leak we’ll see more examples. Three categories where this happens most are tablets, HDTVs and laptops. Retailers love to sell special models of laptops, tablets and HDTVs that are only available for Black Friday.

Watch out for inflated Black Friday 2014 savings.

You’ll find nearly identical versions of these devices, but the model numbers will be slightly different from anything you can buy throughout the year. With a new model number retailers often choose a very high starting price, one that you would be hard pressed to find that tablet ever selling for — save two days before Black Friday.

This makes comparison shopping on Black Friday difficult and it can make it seem like shoppers are getting an incredible deal instead of a standard discount.

Savvy shoppers will research the model and look at reviews and prices for items before committing to a Black Friday 2014 deal. If you cannot find the exact model, search the beginning part, which will help you make a good comparison. Traditionally laptops and tablets include the same starting model numbers, with one small change at the end to signify that it is for a specific retailer.

Black Friday 2014 is on November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving. Retailers are already starting early Black Friday 2014 sales and many are open on Thanksgiving Day or planning a full week of deals to capitalize on the frenzy around Black Friday.

Check out what you can expect from top stores on Black Friday in the slides below.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Black Friday 2014 Deals & Ads: What to ExpectWalmart Black Friday 2014 Predictions1 / 6

Walmart Black Friday 2014 deals will almost certainly start on Thanksgiving evening with a collection of incredible doorbusters. 

Walmart spokeswoman Sarah McKinney tells CBS News, "It's a different type of shopper" during Thanksgiving, with families coming instead of adults lined up at 4 AM.

There is a very good chance that the Walmart Black Friday 1-Hour guaranteed in stock program will return with deals on iPads, HDTVs and other items that the retailer will have in stock for anyone who lines up.

If they run out, they offer a chance to buy at that price with delivery by Christmas. This is a huge positive for shoppers who like to stand in line for the deals, as it means less chance of going home empty-handed. 

Keep your eyes open for these easy to get Walmart Black Friday 2014 deals. You can count on more information about this and the Walmart Black Friday 2014 ad to arrive early in the week of Thanksgiving or even the week before. 

Specifically you can expect HDTV Black Friday deals at Walmart that offer a 60-inch HDTV for just over $400. Last year the big, big item was a 70-inch Vizio for $998. This year we may see a similar size HDTV at Walmart, with an even lower price.

 

Walmart is also a go to spot for gaming deals and we could see a bundle add value to the existing $50 off the Xbox One and  other PS4 Black Friday 2014 deals

There will also certainly be iPad Air and iPad mini deals that offer $50 to $75 in savings on recent, if not the newest models and some type of iPhone 6 Black Friday deals. Sam's Club plans an iPhone 6 for $99 on November 15th. 

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Black Friday 2014 Ads: Watch Out for Inflated Savings is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Xbox One Buying Guide – Which Xbox One Should You Buy? 

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 21:08

Xbox One Buying Guide – Which Xbox One Should You Buy?  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the winter holidays quickly approaching around the world, the time for purchasing the things you’ve wanted all year is coming up. During the holidays there are all sorts of deals on just about everything — including Microsoft’s Xbox One entertainment console.

Despite all of the first-year predictions from gaming-focused outlets, this generation of console games has defied logic. Within the first year we’ve seen tons of free codes for games, oodles of new accessories, and limited-time bundles that makes buying an Xbox One an incredible deal this holiday season.

It’s those bundles that are more important. If you’re planning on purchasing an Xbox One this holiday season, knowing which bundles are available and which one you should purchase is absolutely essential. In this part of the Xbox One Buying Guide we’ll help you decide which console bundle to purchase.

Which Xbox One Bundles Are Available?

Microsoft has spent the better part of a full year launching new Xbox One bundles. I’d say its mostly because the company wants to keep interest in the console high. A bigger part of the equation is just that it translates to real users so well. It’s easier to explain to someone that they’re getting a good deal when they’re saving on the cost of a game they’d have to purchase separately otherwise. Nothing works like cutting the overall purchase price, but bundles aren’t bad either.

Every Xbox One comes with some essentials. There’s the console itself, an HDMI cable, a power cable, a single wireless controller and a chat headset. The Xbox One comes with 500GB of storage, but there’s also a single bundle that actually includes more storage than that. Lets break them down.

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle

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Assassin’s Creed Unity is expected to be one of the biggest game launches this year. Naturally, Microsoft is capitalizing on that with an exclusive bundle that gets players everything they need in one package. The Assassin’s Creed Xbox One bundle includes a standard Xbox One in black. Also included is a copy of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Unity. Buyers are saving because Unity alone would cost them $60 extra. This bundle costs $350 until early January.

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect

The Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle comes in two flavors. The first is the $349.99 model that includes the two digital Assassin’s Creed games. The second is the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect for $450. This version includes all the same extras as the other. It also adds a Kinect 2 sensor for motion gaming, controlling television sets, cables and more. Of the two, I’d say this is the one to buy if you have kids who aren’t quite ready for a controller with 14 buttons or you want to use the live entertainment stuff that the Xbox One offers. Buying a Kinect 2 sensor separately is $150.

Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle

Microsoft is throwing in a free digital copy of Sunset Overdrive with a special-edition Xbox One in the Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle. Functionally, the console you get in this bundle is identical to the others. Aesthetically, it’s black instead of white and includes a matching white controller. At $50, its great for anyone who needed a game with the system, or already planned on buying the system but would rather have a console that stands out. Microsoft says these are on a very limited run though, so you may want to quickly move on this one.

Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle

Finally, there’s the Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle. Other than looks, this the only bundle that provides buyers with a feature that’s better than what they get on other Xbox consoles. Instead of a 500GB hard drive, Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle buyers get a 1TB hard drive. That’s double the storage, and it’ll definitely come in use as you download digital games and apps to your console. Through January its $449.99 and also includes a copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest title in the first-person shooting franchise. Buying that game separately would normally cost $60.

Others

There are three more bundles that you should be aware of for various reasons, though you probably don’t want to set your holiday hopes on getting them. The $350 Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle includes a digital copy of Madden 15 and a standard Xbox One. Purchasing this bundle is an easy score for sports fans, but it’s only available in limited quantities at select retailers these days. By late November, it could be gone. There are also the basic console bundles themselves. Microsoft makes an Xbox One with Kinect for $450 and an Xbox One without Kinect for $350.

Which Xbox One Bundle to Buy

Don’t buy either of the basic Xbox One bundles if you can help it. Both of them cost the same as a bundle with a game included. You’ll be able to quickly identify these because they are in plane green boxes.

As for the other bundles, which one you should person comes down to your likes and dislikes. I like Assassin’s Creed. If I didn’t have an Xbox One already and wanted to play Assassin’s Creed Unity i’d need an Xbox One or a PS4 to play it. Naturally, the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect would be the one I chose. Choose the one with the game you like. Another thing I wouldn’t do is purchase the Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle unless you planned to purchase that game anyway. The Xbox One supports external hard drives so the extra storage base it has isn’t exactly crucial.

Before you pick out an Xbox One bundle, be sure to take into account whether your family needs a Kinect 2 sensor. If its just going to be a hardcore gaming machine for them than you don’t need one. If its going to sit in your living room and act as an entertainment console for the entire family, spend the extra money now. Buying the Kinect 2 sensor separately will cost you $50 more, though buyers do get Dance Central Spotlight with it for their trouble.

Read: Xbox One Buying Guide - The Accessories You Need

With games like Titanfalland Sunset Overdrive already available and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Assassin’s Creed Unity and more making their debut, there’s never been a better time to pick up an Xbox One. Keep in mind that you may need some Xbox One accessories with your new console. We’ve broken down the accessories you’ll need in Xbox One Buying Guide: The Accessories You Need for easy reference.

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Xbox One Buying Guide – Which Xbox One Should You Buy?  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus Camera Comparison

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 17:45

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus Camera Comparison is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple released the iPhone 6 Plus recently, and they gave a lot of attention to the excellent camera, one we thought good enough to potentially replace a point-and-shoot. The new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also comes with a pretty great camera of its own. We decided to create a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus camera comparison to decide which new flagship phone offers the best option for buyers who love to take photos and video with their phone.

In our head-to-head Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus camera comparison, we’re looking at how well the two shooters handle almost any situation a phone photographer might want.

Click this image to see a larger side-by-side comparison of unedited shots.

Regular Snapshots

Two things that stand out in this camera comparison. The Note 4 image brings us closer to the activity than the iPhone 6 Plus does, thanks to the wider angle of the iPhone lens.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Snapshot

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Second, the Note 4 color looks more accurate, with white balance showing the right wall color. The iPhone looks slightly warmer than it should.

iPhone 6 Plus Snapshot

The Samsung shot comes in at 16×9 and 16MP by default. The iPhone 6 Plus shoots in a more traditional 8×10 aspect ratio at 8MP. In nearly all of our comparison shots the iPhone produced brighter images with a wider angle, while the Note 4 camera shots looked darker, but offered more white balance and sharper images. Despite the difference, both shots looked very nice. Still, for color accuracy and detail, I’d give the nod to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Portraits

The portraits of my son show the same differences seen in the snapshots.

The iPhone does a better job of making Michael’s skin look attractive, but that’s because we don’t get the same level of detail.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 shoots in a mode called Beauty Face. Look at the forehead of my son below compared with the two shots above. His blemishes don’t show up while the eyes and beard stay in sharp focus.

The zoomed in shots side by side below show how this effect looks in a full-sized image.

This shows the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 camera portraits with a regular shot on the left and a Beauty Face shot on the right.

Whether the user wants more detail or a smoother complexion, the Note 4 camera wins on both counts.

Low Light Images

Parents often pull out their phones to take pictures at a kid’s concert or play. I took the shots below at my son’s chorus concert.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 low light shot taken at a concert.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 shot above offers the best color, especially in the curtain above the stage. The white shirts still look a little blown. The Note 4 lens brings us closer to the choir The iPhone shot below looks kind of lifeless.

iPhone 6 Plus low light shot taken at a concert.

We didn’t have the best seats, so I used the digital zoom on each camera. The Note 4 lens brings us closer to the the singers in the zoomed shots too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 low light shot at full zoom taken at a concert.

Both shots look more blurry than the regular shots. We get the same warmer and colorful shots on the Note 4.

iPhone 6 Plus low light shot take at full zoom at a concert.

In this particularly challenging setting, neither phone did a good job, but the Note 4 images look better.

Macro Shots

Macro shots offer extreme close-ups, which causes problems for some lenses because they can’t focus that close to the subject. Click each image and see that the first shot, taken with the Note 4, looks fuzzier.

The iPhone’s shot isn’t very sharp either and introduced more grain into the image thanks to the low light.

iPhone 6 Plus macro shot taken in low light.

The iPhone 6 Plus camera’s fast f2.2 lens brightens the low-light macro shot, even if it does look more grainy than the Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 macro shot under normal light without flash.

Under normal light, we still get a brighter shot from the iPhone than the Note 4. In fact the Note 4 shot above looks like a low-light image. The iPhone shot looks warmer, which means it’s not as accurate.

iPhone 6 Plus macro shot under normal lighting without flash.

If you click the two  images to see them a full size, you’ll notice the iPhone shot looks sharper and offers brighter exposure. Despite being a little too warm, we like the iPhone macro shots better than the Note 4′s.

Sunny Day at Noon

Below notice the two shots taken of my church building at noon with the sun high in the sky. This puts the front of the building in the shadows, while the sun beats down on the white steeple. As with the other shots the iPhone produces a brighter image with a wider aspect ratio. The Note 4 gives us more accurate color.

Note 4 midday shot.

With this tall building, the wider 16×9 aspect ratio on the Note 4 produces a better composition.

iPhone 6 Plus midday shot.

To show the detail, we put both shots side by side and displayed them a full size below.

Side-by-side comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 shot on left and iPhone 6 Plus shot on the right.

The iPhone gives a sharper image, but the Note 4 color looks more accurate. We call this a draw.

Panorama Shots

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 panorama

Look closely at the roof lines on the building in the Note 4 shot above. They’re jagged on the while the iPhone shot looks smoother. Also this is one of the exceptions where the exposure on the iPhone 6 Plus looks better, since the Samsung shot above shows the sky on the right side all blown out. iOS must turn on the HDR feature for panoramas, since the sky’s exposure looks great while the rest of the scene shows up brighter.

iPhone 6 Plus panorama

Finally, look at the bright orange tree on the left side. The iPhone 6 Plus shows the color more faithfully than the Samsung above it. This round clearly goes to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Night Shots

Night shots prove difficult for the best cameras, so it’s not surprising that neither phone produced a great shot. The Note 4 cuts off the green grass thanks to the narrower angle, however, it looks warmer.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Night Shot

The wider angle in the iPhone shot shows the green grass, giving the shot more depth and interest. In both shots the white door looks blown out. We see more of the surrounding area in the iPhone shot below.

iPhone 6 Plus Night Shot

Only a high-end camera will do this scene justice, but we give a slight nod to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Fast Action Photos

The iPhone 6 Plus clearly wins this category because of the Burst mode and faster shutter release. The Samsung Galaxy Note takes a second to take shots after tapping the screen or pressing the volume button shutter release. This means a lot of missed action shots, unless the person gets good at timing them. Still, the Note 4 does take good images, offers its own burst mode and with some practice can get interesting actions shots, as we see below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 action shot

Compare the shot above with this one taken with the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus action shot

Both shots do a good job of freezing the action, however, the delay for the first shot on the Note 4 makes the iPhone 6 Plus more effective. Here’s the Note 4 bust shot selection screen, where users pick the best of their burst mode shots.

The Note 4 Burst Shots selection screen lets users save just one or all of their bust shots.

Here’s a look at the Burst Mode selection screen on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Action taking Burst Mode shots on the iPhone 6 Plus, the Photos app lets the user select the best shot and either save or discard the rest of the photos.

Normal Video

Watch a sample video taken on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 camera below.

Here’s a sample from the iPhone 6 Plus camera.

Both cameras shoot nice HD video, so we can’t choose a winner.

Slo-mo Video

Apple touted the iPhone’s slow motion feature, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also shoots in slow motion. The iPhone 6 Plus produces 240fps while the Note 4 can shoot up to 120fps, but also offers three speeds.

Here’s a Note 4 sample taken on a cold day in November with sleet falling on my windshield.

Next I shot this sample on the iPhone 6 Plus. When the car windshield wipers slides across the windshield at about the 58 second mark, we get the full effect of the slow motion.

In real-world testing there’s not enough of a difference between the two videos to give one the advantage. The iPhone shoots in a higher fps, but the Note 4 offers more versatility with three speeds plus something called Smooth motion. It’s a draw.

High-resolution 4K Video

There’s one trick the iPhone 6 Plus can’t do. Here’s a sample of 4K video shot at the World Series on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

The 4K quality looks great, but takes up a lot of space, so shoot sparingly and only in settings where it really matters.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus Camera Comparison Software

While shot quality makes the most difference, photo organization and editing matters too. In this Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus camera comparison we also take a look at sharing, editing and organizing features. We’ll start with the Camera apps themselves.

iPhone 6 Plus camera app user interface

The iPhone 6 Plus camera app gives users the basic functions like flash, HDR, timed shots and live filters, but Samsung offers more features on the Note 4 camera. Some of them come from the Galaxy App Store while Apple now lets third-party developers add filters and features to the iPhone camera. Both cameras can shoot…

  • Panoramic shots
  • HD video
  • Slow motion video
  • Using live filters to see the “Instagram-style” effects before taping the shutter
  • HDR shots
  • Timer shots
  • Time-lapse

iPhone 6 Plus camera live filters

The Samsung Galaxy camera app lets the user customize three of the settings buttons. The iPhone camera doesn’t.

Samsung Galaxy Note camera app user interface

The Note 4 camera also offers more granular control over shooting settings. They’re easy to find. Tap the settings icon on the top the left corner and a grid camera option button show up. Tap and drag one to the main toolbar across the top to customize the center 3 settings buttons.

Use these mode buttons from the grid or tap and drag them to the top toolbar for quicker access.

The Note 4 includes more shooting modes, some of which seem awfully niche. A few come preinstalled, but the user can download others. This includes things like a Beauty Face mode, Panoramas, Sports, Selective Focus, Dual Camera (takes shots with both cameras at once and super-imposes the front facing shot onto the rear-facing shot), and more. The Note 4 camera app offers more features, but fans of simplicity will prefer the iPhone.

Photo Editing

On each device the software lets users do simple editing of their photos including basic color correction, cropping and rotation, exposure fixes and filters or effects. The Samsung photo editing features (see above) offer more options than the iPhone 6 Plus (see below). Some of the Samsung features seem silly, like putting “stickers” on top of images or adding ugly borders. User can do more advanced photo editing with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

People who want lots of features will love the Note 4, while iPhone owners will not feel disappointed. They’re not missing out on anything necessary. Thanks to the new iOS 8 sharing feature, the user can open shots in their favorite editing app. Since the Note 4 does offer more editing features, we give it the nod.

Conclusion

To summarize the iPhone’s strengths, it produces brighter shots with a more traditional photographic 8×10 aspect ratio, and offers a simpler interface. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 gives us more detail in most shots, except the panoramic shots, and gives users a wider variety of shooting modes and editing tools. The Note 4′s shoots with a narrower angle, but this brings the photographer closer to their subject. The iPhone produces shots with more of the scene in the image.

Which phone gives users a better camera? If forced to choose, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 takes better shots in more situations and offers a larger variety of shooting and editing options. But it doesn’t win by a wide margin. One might call it a photo finish.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus Camera Comparison is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which Should I Buy?

GottaBeMobile - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 17:15

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which Should I Buy? is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

“Should I buy the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus?” That is one of the most asked questions we’ve heard this in late 2014. Shoppers are eager to get a new iPhone, but are left wondering what the main iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus differences are.

This guide will help shoppers who already know they want a new iPhone decide if they should buy the iPhone 6 or spend an extra $100 on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Whether you’ve  already held the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus or if you are just starting your comparison shopping we’ll walk through the most important things that buyers need to know about the two new iPhones for 2014.

Here’s help to decide if you should buy the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

It is still hard to find an iPhone 6 Plus in stock, but you can check out demo units at an Apple Store, carrier store and even some retailers so it is possible to compare the devices in your own hands before buying a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Review | iPhone 6 Plus Review

Both of the models are available on  VerizonAT&TSprintT-Mobil and US Cellular. There are also smaller carriers like Boost Mobile, Straight Talk and others selling both devices.

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We’re sharing this advice on which iPhone 6 you should buy after using the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for over a month.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: 7 Key Differences

Before we break out into more detail, here are the main iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus differences that buyers should be aware of. Our iPhone 6 Plus review video above also compares many of these differences.

  • The iPhone 6 Plus is significantly bigger.
  • The iPhone 6 Plus features a bigger, higher resolution screen.
  • The iPhone 6 Plus includes Optical Image Stabilization.
  • The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both use an Apple A8 processor.
  • You won’t notice a difference in speed between the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus.
  • The iPhone 6 Plus offers longer battery life.
  • The iPhone 6 Plus is $100 more expensive.

We’ll dive into these items below, but that is a quick look at the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Price

You can’t miss the price difference between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. You’ll pay $100 more for the iPhone 6 Plus on contract and off contract. The off contract iPhone 6 is $649 and the off contract iPhone 6 Plus is $749, for 16GB of storage.

Here’s the breakdown of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus prices for the various levels of storage. For most users a 64GB iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus is the best option. A 16GB iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus does not offer a lot of room for apps, music, photos and movies and users will run out much faster than they expect.

iPhone 6 Prices
  • iPhone 6 16GB – $199
  • iPhone 6 64GB – $299
  • iPhone 6 128GB – $399
iPhone 6 Plus Prices
  • iPhone 6  Plus 16GB – $299
  • iPhone 6 Plus 64GB – $399
  • iPhone 6 Plus 128GB – $499

If that means buying a 64GB iPhone 6 instead of a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus, that’s something many buyers should consider. The amount of storage is not something you can change on either phone, and even though iCloud makes storing photos off the iPhone 64GB is still more manageable for users who keep a phone for two or more years.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Size

The iPhone 6 Plus is significantly bigger than the iPhone 6. For many users the iPhone 6 will be the best option, and even that is an adjustment when coming from the iPhone 4s or iPhone 5.

The iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus photo above shows the difference in size.

Both of the new iPhones feature an all metal design with curved edges. This does help users get their hands around the larger iPhone frames, but it is slippery. Most of the Gotta Be Mobile staff put a case on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to make it easier to grip.

  • iPhone 6 – 138.1 x 67.0 x 6.9 mm
  • iPhone 6 Plus - 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

The iPhone 6 fits in most pockets easier, although in our iPhone 6 review we note that in some shorts even the iPhone 6 feels like it is about to fall out due to the larger size. In a pair of men’s jeans, the iPhone 6 fits very well, and the iPhone 6 Plus is a little tighter fit. It all boils down to the depth of the pocket and the clothes you wear. Both phones fit into most jeans and shorts pockets, but in those with shallow pockets the iPhone 6 Plus is cumbersome to carry.

Women should check the size of the iPhone 6 Plus out in store, as pockets in women’s clothing are typically smaller and sometimes non-existent.

Ultimately, the iPhone 6 isn’t as easy to use with one hand, even with Apple’s Reachability and third-party one-handed keyboards. Simply holding the largest iPhone while in bed or walking down the street is a little more challenging than with the iPhone 5s. It’s easier to hold the iPhone 6, but still and adjustment.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Display

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer larger displays than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 4s, by a wide margin. This is probably the biggest visible difference when comparing iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 Plus offers a larger, higher resolution display.

The iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch display with a 1,334 x 750 resolution. The iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. What does this mean for you?

Simply put the iPhone 6 Plus display packs more pixels per inch, which means text looks sharper and you can see more detail on the screen. The iPhone 6 Plus is also larger, so it’s better for watching a full movie, playing a game or other tasks where a big screen is needed.

The iPhone 6 Plus display also includes a landscape mode not found on the iPhone 6. This lets you use the iPhone 6 when it is on the side, and you can see more information in Apple Apps like Calendar and Notes. The video above shows this mode, which looks very similar to the iPad version of these apps.

Apple’s iPhone 6 display doesn’t pack in as many pixels as the 6 Plus or most Android competitors, but that it’s still a nice looking display and a more manageable size for many users.

If you plan to use your iPhone as a mobile entertainment device, instead of bringing an iPad mini with you, the larger screen is a huge reason to buy the larger iPhone.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Camera

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both include a new 8MP camera with larger pixels and pixel focus technology to help focus faster. There is a dual-LED flash and both phones use the same camera software. The only difference is that the iPhone 6 Plus includes Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to help prevent blurry photos.

This feature won’t keep your kid or pet from turning out blurry though. Instead it will help in a low light landscape photo, or of a still object that you are taking a photo of. After using both phones for over a month, there may be times where the OIS helps, but in most comparison photos we took, both cameras deliver good-looking results. You can see samples below.

Is the iPhone 6 Plus Worth the Extra $100?

If all you really want is to know if the iPhone 6 Plus is worth $100 more than the iPhone 6 it boils down to what you want from a phone. You need to consider what size of screen you want and how big of a phone you can commit to carrying around.

Pick the iPhone 6 that fits your needs best. There aren’t many exclusive features between the two.

The iPhone 6 Plus offers a larger screen that is hands down better for watching a movie or playing games for long periods of time. If you want a big screen you can put in your pocket, spend the extra $100 and enjoy the longer battery life as a benefit.

If you think the iPhone 6 Plus is too big, that’s fine. Buy the iPhone 6, save $100, and enjoy your new iPhone. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer essentially the same performance for most users and it’s tough to tell which camera is better for most photos.

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iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which Should I Buy? is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Estimating Sticky Notes – A Video Story Problem

The Tech Savvy Educator - Sat, 11/08/2014 - 04:30

I did a search on YouTube today for the terms “video story problem.” It returned more than 16 million results. Interestingly enough, many of the top results are from people creating video story problems that I’ve never met, have never been in one of my workshops, and have no links back to where they got the idea; and that’s awesome! Loving that so many other educators and students are starting to play with video to help create publicly available examples of the old “learning is messy” adage!

I really enjoyed this one created by William Campillo, who tasked us with estimating the thickness of a single sticky note by using a stack of notes and one on its side.

If I find some time, I might try to start curating all of the examples out there that I see popping up on YouTube. Or better yet, maybe create a hub site where all of the videos can live, be sorted and categorized, and maybe even start to build it up as a resource beyond the Video Story Problem Channel. For now, I’m just excited to see so many others creating!

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Nexus 6 Release Date: What to Expect Now

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 22:35

Nexus 6 Release Date: What to Expect Now is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the Nexus 6 release date quickly approaching and pre-orders now live from both the Google Play Store and Motorola themselves, prospective buyers are liking looking for more details regarding the launch. Here we’ll take a look at what potential buyers and Nexus fans can expect now from the release date.

Earlier this month, Google posted a quick blog post and announced the all-new Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus 9 tablet, a Nexus Player and the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop software update. All the reports and rumors we’d heard for months were put to rest, and you’ll be able to get your hands on both in early November. But when? Read on to see.

Read: Nexus 6 Hands-on & First Impressions

The original Nexus 5 was announced on October 31st and released a few weeks later in November, and Google’s on track to do the same in 2014 with the Nexus 6, only it will be a much bigger release with all carriers on board. For those interested in Google’s latest Nexus 6 smartphone, read on for all the details you’ll need to know, and what to expect from the release.

As expected, the Nexus 6 went up for pre-order on November 29th just like Google promised, but it sold out in under five minutes. It was a bit of a mess, and the company has promised more stock each Wednesday until the release date. When is the release date though? Your guess is as good as anyone’s, but it looks like everything will kick off on November 12th.

Google shocked everyone by announcing the new Nexus 6 would be available from all five major carriers in the United States, and that includes Verizon Wireless. And while a few have confirmed they’ll carry it, and even announced dates, no solid information has been released, leaving many prospective buyers in the dark. Here we’ll try to ease the pain of waiting for carriers and Google to reveal all the information.

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The Nexus 6 release date is still largely a mystery for now, sadly. That being said, the Google Play Store listing has seen two updates the past week that shared more information for potential buyers.

Read: 5 New Nexus 6 Release Date Details

Motorola has filled in a few of the blanks though. The Nexus 6?s manufacturer says that the Nexus 6 will “come to 28 countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America starting later this year and as we head into Q1.” Which means some might not get the Nexus before the holidays, but that’s likely for regions outside the US.

T-Mobile will be the first carrier in the United States to offer the new Nexus 6. It will hit store shelves and their online site on November 12th, as will the Nexus 9, and that’s technically the release date. Well, unless something else changes.

Nexus 6 Carriers (U.S.)

T-Mobile says that it plans to release the Nexus 6 starting November 12th. They’ll also offer the Nexus 9 that day too. AT&T hasn’t provided any release details, U.S. Cellular says November, and Sprint is sticking to Google’s line about “coming weeks.” We expect Nexus 6 release dates to all be around the same day or week, with all arriving inside or by the end of November.

That said, the link above revealed three other carriers are coming soon. Google confirmed T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular will all have the phone available in stores before the end of November. That leaves one out, Verizon. There’s no information on the Verizon Nexus 6 release date, but all other major US carriers should have it available within the next 2-3 weeks.

Read: Nexus 6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Size Comparison

Before Verizon users get too upset though, it has been confirmed the unlocked model from the Play Store works on all carriers, including Verizon. Meaning if you really don’t want to wait just get one from the Google Play Store, or T-Mobile, and hopefully you’ll be able to toss in that Verizon SIM and be good to go, as long as they’ll register the device on their network.

Nexus 6 Price

We still don’t have a Nexus 6 on-contract price point, though a leak suggests that it could be as low as $50 on-contract at AT&T. That could have been a mistake or placeholder, and a premium device like this will likely be $199 on contact, if not $249. That price hasn’t been confirmed though, so hopefully a $99 on-contract price or some good Nexus 6 deals arrive come release day.

Motorola recently confirmed that the Nexus 6 will start at $650 off-contract. That price is for the 32GB device. The larger 64GB Nexus 6 will be $699, making it the most expensive Nexus device to date. That’s far more expensive than the Nexus 5, a device that is still available on Google Play as a budget option. Coming in at $349 for the 16GB model, and $399 for the 32GB version.

Google will offer the Nexus 6 in two colors at the start, midnight blue and cloud white, and it looks like they’ll deliver at least two cases and accessories. Carriers should have both colors as well, but we won’t know until they release more details themselves.

With November 12th coming next week, we expect more carriers will share information in order to calm customers waiting to get Google’s latest Android 5.0 Lollipop powered flagship smartphone.

Nexus 6: Where to Buy

As it stands right now, the Nexus 6 is available (sort of) on the Google Play Store for pre-order, with more stock arriving each Wednesday. They’re selling out quick, so you better be fast. It’s also on Motorola.com but sold out after a day, and we’ll update when we learn more stock becomes available.

The Google Play Store is an obvious retail choice for the Nexus 6 and it will join the Nexus 9 and Nexus 5 as Google’s flagship Nexus products. Google’s Play Store has been a great place to buy previous Nexus devices, even if stock is limited and supplies sell out quickly. The Nexus 5 was a smooth launch when compared to the Nexus 4, but so far things have been a little rocky for the Nexus 6. Google needs more stock, lots more. Supply and demand folks!

Again, all five major US carriers will be offering it, Best Buy should have plenty in stock, and of course the Google Play Store. Others could offer the phone eventually, but for now this is all the details Google’s released. Hopefully more information surfaces in the next week.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon will all sell the Nexus 6. We expect it to be available online and in retail stores so that consumers can go hands on with the Nexus 6 before buying it. While the big four offer tons of retail locations, U.S. Cellular’s retail locations are far more limited and those looking to buy on the nation’s fifth largest carrier might need to take a long drive to reach a store.

Read: Nexus 6 vs DROID Turbo: Size Comparison

As the release date nears and more information arrives, we’ll be sure to keep you all updated on Google and each carriers plans. In the meantime check out our Nexus 6 Portal for tons of coverage, size comparison videos, and more. Stay tuned for a full review coming soon.

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Nexus 6 Release Date: What to Expect Now is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Xbox One is $200 at Best Buy with a Catch  

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 22:02

Xbox One is $200 at Best Buy with a Catch   is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

There are just  three weeks left until the official Holiday 2015 shopping season kicks off and savings on Microsoft’s Xbox One console are starting to stack up. Last week Microsoft announced it’d be discounting all Xbox One bundles by $50. A new Best Buy deal builds on that. Trading in an Xbox 360 with 250GB of storage or a PS3 Slim means users can upgrade to the Xbox One for just $200.

Best Buy quietly began letting shoppers trade-in their Xbox 360 and PS3s in for a deep discount on the Xbox One on November 2nd, according to details available on its website.

Those who trade-in a Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard drive or a PS3 slim are guaranteed $150 in credit towards the purchase of an Xbox One, making it the easiest its ever been to upgrade. Users can save more if they have an extra wireless controller. Best Buy is guaranteeing shoppers $10 for every one of those that they trade-in. $100 in the offer is the actual trade-in credit for the console. The other $50 is in the form of a coupon on the Xbox One itself. Buyers can use the $100 credit on anything they want, but the coupon is only good for the Xbox One.

Owners of those two consoles stand to get the Xbox One at just $200, before taxes, but those aren’t the only consoles Best Buy is accepting. It’ll give $50 in credit towards the Xbox 360 for any working Xbox 360 or PS3 regardless of capacity or design.

Xbox One shoppers have until November 15th to take advantage of this Xbox One trade-in deal. After that, the coupon will disappear and Best Buy will go back to only giving those who trade in the Xbox 360 with 250GB of storage and the PS3 Slim a flat $100 in credit.

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Best Buy says not all of its stores are taking Xbox 360 trade-ins, but does provide a searchable database of the stores that are. Shoppers will want to avoid Best Buy Mobile locations and look for stores with a “Trade-In” logo on their homepage. Of course, calling your local store before heading out isn’t a terrible idea either.  Unfortunately, the extra coupon is only for those who trade-in at one of Best Buy’s retail locations.

With this latest deal, Best Buy shoppers stand to get the best deal on a video game console ever. Even before it announced a price cut Microsoft revealed three new holiday bundles that offer free copies of the season’s must-have cross-platform games.

One bundle includes Assassin’s Creed Unity, an upcoming open-world adventure game due to arrive on November 11th. Inside that $350 bundle is the Xbox One itself a digital code for Assassin’s Creed Unity and another code for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. That’s roughly $100 in digital game savings before this Best Buy deal. Another bundle includes everything here and a Kinect 2 sensor for $449.

A third bundle ditches the Kinect 2 sensor in favor of a custom paint job, double the standard hard drive storage space and a digital copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Xbox One bundle also costs $449.

Read: Xbox One Bundles: Which to Buy

Microsoft began selling the Xbox One with Kinect 2 sensor and no bundled games last year for $499. Clearly, waiting to pick up the console has worked in user’s favor.

Whether all of these discounts and the savings that stems from not having to purchase a game separately well help boost holiday sales isn’t up for debate. The question is whether it’ll be enough to propel the Xbox One to the top of the charts and ahead of Sony’s PS4 gaming console. It too launched last year, but cost buyers $349. It’s been leading the Xbox One in sales ever since.

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Xbox One is $200 at Best Buy with a Catch   is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Reviews Say It’s a Great Deal 

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 17:12

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Reviews Say It’s a Great Deal  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

There weren’t a lot of industry insiders questioning whether Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Microsoft’s Xbox One console was a great value. With Halo: The Master Chief Collection reviews arriving on a few sites today, it’s now very clear that early feelings about the game were accurate. Halo: The Master Chief Collection appears to be a very faithful remake and an incredible value for anyone picking up an Xbox One console this holiday season.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection reviews are still trickling in from most of the major sites. Most that haven’t published a review have shared some thoughts on the game ahead of release, however.

Polygon is one of the sites that has a full Halo: The Master Chief Collection review ready on its website. In that piece, reviewer Arthur Gies talks at length about how new releasing an assortment of games at this price really is. “Rather than taking a comparatively easy route moving the story content from the older games as-is to a new platform, 343 is doing something unprecedented: collecting the distinct multiplayer components from all four games and presenting them faithfully, all in one place.”

Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Gies likes more than just the amount of content available to Halo: The Master Chief Collection buyers. He also thinks that changing the frame rate in the game has led to a more fluid experience. He describes the changes as a “universally positive improvement.”

Polygon gives out scores for games from a 1 through a 10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s review includes a score of 9.5.

The heart of Halo: The Master Chief Collection is Halo 2 Anniversary. Halo 2 Anniversary is a top-to-bottom remake of the entire game that arrived on the original Xbox around a decade ago. Before Microsoft officially revealed The Master Chief Collection, most Xbox gamers thought they’d just be getting this game alone this holiday season. That Microsoft delivered a decent core experience for Halo 2 Anniversary is key.

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IGN’s Ryan McCaffery isn’t yet ready to review the game fully. That being said, he did publish his views on the game as they stand today. McCaffery says the first thing he did was launch Halo 2 Anniversary to get a feel for the new graphics and boosted frame rate. “Admittedly, the new facade is a bit rough around the edges – I saw occasional frozen enemies, some frame rate dips, and a few long loading screens that  interrupt the pace as the impressive new cut scenes cue up. And while the graphics are up to modern standards in many ways, they’re hardly jaw-dropping,” he says of the remake.

He goes on to applaud the audio changes made to the game and notes how great the new frame rate is. Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes a new every multiplayer mode from Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Players can jump in-between each game’s multiplayer mode thanks to playlists, a feature that’s making its début here. McCaffery found switching between each game’s multiplayer to bit a bit jarring, but he says that using a universal controller setup helped. IGN normally assigns scores for video game reviews, but decided not to do so in favor of having more time with the game. He does conclude that a few glitches in multiplayer matchmaking and graphics aren’t enough to spoil Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Read: Halo: The Master Chief Collection Launch Trailer is Here

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a massive game for $60 and its clear, based on at least these two looks that buyers are getting a pretty good deal. Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches on November 11th for the Xbox One. It won’t be coming to the Xbox 360 and there won’t be a bundled with an Xbox One in the same way Assassin’s Creed Unity and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Reviews Say It’s a Great Deal  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Costco Black Friday 2014 Deals: Early Savings & Predictions

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 16:09

Costco Black Friday 2014 Deals: Early Savings & Predictions is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The first Costco Black Friday 2014 ads are online with early savings from the retailer who will not open on Thanksgiving Day, but fully intends on offering tons of Costco Black Friday 2014 deals.

Costco will go up against Sam’s Club which offers a $99 iPhone 6, Walmart’s Black Friday 2014 deals that are already online and other powerhouses like Amazon and Best Buy.

We’ll take a look at the early Costco Black Friday 2014 deals and what else you can expect from the membership only retailer later this month through the official Black Friday event.

Although Costco sells a little bit of everything we’ll focus on the Costco Black Friday 2014 deals for technology, gadgets and smartphones.

Costco Black Friday 2014 Hours

Check out what you need to know about Costco Black Friday 2014 ads, deals and hours. Niloo / Shutterstock.com

Costco is not open on Thanksgiving Day like most competitors. A Costco spokesperson told Think Progress,

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“Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families,” adding, ” Nothing more complicated than that.”

That doesn’t mean you need to wait for Black Friday 2014 to officially arrive if you want to save on pre-Black Friday 2014 deals. The Costco Black Friday 2014 hours are not announced yet, but you can count on deals.

Early Costco Black Friday 2014 Deals

The early Costco Black Friday 2014 deals start on November 21st with savings on tablets, HDTVs and laptops to name a few. The Black Friday shows the early Costco Black Friday 2014 ad scans, revealing some tempting deals listed below.

  • Samsung 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 – $50 off
  • Samsung 8-inch Galaxy Tab 4 – $700 off
  • Samsung 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 4 – $100 off
  • Costco Black Friday 2014 Deals on HDTVs – $100 to $720 off
  • HP and Acer laptops – $120 to $125 Off

There are also many deals on sound bars, other HDTVs and a variety of other items sold by Costco.

Costco Black Friday 2014 Gaming Deals

We expect to see Costco Black Friday 2014 ads arrive with deals on the PS4 and Xbox One, as well as discounts on games and on older consoles.

Expect savings on the Xbox One and PS4 during Black Friday 2014 at Costco.

You can count on $50 off the Xbox One, but we may see more from the retailer since anyone can save $50 n the Xbox One now without waiting or joining Costco.

PS4 Black Friday 2014 deals at Costco may include bundles of games. It would not be a shock to see a PS4 with GTA 5 and the Last of us Remastered for $399. This is a deal that Dell plans to offer and one we expect to see at multiple retailers during Black Friday 2014.

Costco Black Friday 2014 HDTV Deals

Costco is already a go to retailer for HDTV deals and offers, and on Black Friday the leaks show $100 off a 32-inch HDTV and up to $700 to $720 off 65-inc and 70-inch Samsung HDTVs.

You can count on these leaked deals and likely on many others to appear at Costco and online through the Costco website. Be sure to check the actual price against what others are selling the model for, to make sure you know what you are actually getting.

Costco Black Friday 2014 Tablets & Laptops

It looks like Costco plans to go big on Samsung tablets this year, which may mean fewer Apple Black Friday 2014 deals from Costco. Keep an eye out especially for the Samsung tablet deals, and be sure to read reviews on the devices or check them out in person before you buy.

The same goes for any Costco Black Friday 2014 deals on laptops. There are good laptops to be found on Black Friday, but history teaches us that even retailers with a good reputation can offer up older laptops on Black Friday. Both laptops listed in the ad include good storage options, enough RAM and recent processors, so it all comes down to the final price.

You can check out the other Black Friday 2014 predictions and deals in the slides below covering Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple Black Friday 2014 Deals.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Black Friday 2014 Deals & Ads: What to ExpectWalmart Black Friday 2014 Predictions1 / 6

Walmart Black Friday 2014 deals will almost certainly start on Thanksgiving evening with a collection of incredible doorbusters. 

Walmart spokeswoman Sarah McKinney tells CBS News, "It's a different type of shopper" during Thanksgiving, with families coming instead of adults lined up at 4 AM.

There is a very good chance that the Walmart Black Friday 1-Hour guaranteed in stock program will return with deals on iPads, HDTVs and other items that the retailer will have in stock for anyone who lines up.

If they run out, they offer a chance to buy at that price with delivery by Christmas. This is a huge positive for shoppers who like to stand in line for the deals, as it means less chance of going home empty-handed. 

Keep your eyes open for these easy to get Walmart Black Friday 2014 deals. You can count on more information about this and the Walmart Black Friday 2014 ad to arrive early in the week of Thanksgiving or even the week before. 

Specifically you can expect HDTV Black Friday deals at Walmart that offer a 60-inch HDTV for just over $400. Last year the big, big item was a 70-inch Vizio for $998. This year we may see a similar size HDTV at Walmart, with an even lower price.

 

Walmart is also a go to spot for gaming deals and we could see a bundle add value to the existing $50 off the Xbox One and  other PS4 Black Friday 2014 deals

There will also certainly be iPad Air and iPad mini deals that offer $50 to $75 in savings on recent, if not the newest models and some type of iPhone 6 Black Friday deals. Sam's Club plans an iPhone 6 for $99 on November 15th. 

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Costco Black Friday 2014 Deals: Early Savings & Predictions is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Blogging for Success!

The Tech Savvy Educator - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 02:54

 

Apparently my post earlier this week sharing Jessica Winstanley’s ideas for student blogging was rather popular. So I’m going for broke, and sharing a tool that I created last week to help new teachers start blogging. Again, we’re going to focus on “why blog“, not on the mechanics of blogging. Why? Because it’s far easier to fail by just setting up a blogging space and telling yourself that you’re going to blog, then develop an actual plan for using it as an important piece of your blended learning environment.

I’ve been helping teachers in my district get started with blogging for a few years now, and some kick butt right out of the gate thanks to a healthy background of previous blogging experience. However, many are new to both the concept of openly sharing thoughts on the web, and the dedication it takes to blog regularly with or for students. Usually I’ll get a blog setup with a teacher, visit a classroom, and help the students work through the creation of shared expectations for their blogging space, and then hand things over to the teacher. I’ve been poor at following up, and giving teachers a simple tool to have them think through a few simple steps before they begin the blogging journey.

Until last week. I decided to take my collected notes, thoughts, and scribbles from across my digital and analog writing spaces, and boiled them all down to a few simple questions and placed them in a Google Doc to serve as a template. Now every time a teacher asks me about blogging, I have a quick “go to” document to walk through with them, and hopefully provide enough of a game plan for them to blog successfully.

Click here for a Google Doc Template of “Blogging for Success.”

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Moto X Android 5.0 Update Details Leak

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 00:02

Moto X Android 5.0 Update Details Leak is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Back in October Google quickly took a moment to announce a trio of new devices, as well as the latest update to the Android ecosystem. That being Android 5.0 Lollipop. The first device to run Google’s new operating system is the Nexus 9 tablet, but many manufacturers have confirmed updates for its devices are coming soon. Including one for the new Moto X.

After revealing the new Android 5.0 Lollipop along with the Motorola-made Nexus 6, the Nexus 9, and a new Nexus Player, manufacturers begun announcing light update details for all their respective devices, and that includes Motorola.

Read: Nexus 6 vs Moto X 2014: Size Comparison

Motorola recently confirmed many of its key smartphones over the past two years will indeed be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as released a new website dedicated to update progress. However, today we’re seeing that progress live as some more details and the Moto X 2014 has leaked running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Last year the original Moto X was the first smartphone that wasn’t a Nexus device to be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat when it was released back in November. Beating Google to a few Nexus devices, and the Google Play edition handsets. It was impressive to see it arrive so quick, and if the leak below is anything to go on, buyers can expect the same in 2014 and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

According to a slew of screenshots attained by Phandroid, the new Moto X Android 5.0 Lollipop update is well under way, near the final stages, and is looking pretty good right about now. Most likely the same can be said about the original Moto X, but the leak revealed below is from the new Moto X 2014 that was released in September.

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As you can see above the leak is reportedly the new Moto X running Android 5.0 Lollipop, and sources suggest it was built and compiled for the smartphone about a week ago. Meaning this is an extremely new build, and that it’s a version of the smartphones update making the rounds on an array of test devices.

While we can’t confirm too much here, or a release date, things certainly look on track for a quick and timely update similar to last year. We can see a few changes like the notification pulldown bar match stock Android 5.0, and most of the interface will be pure Android 5.0 Lollipop like we’re used to seeing from Motorola.

That said, there’s a redesigned camera application that should take advantage of some of the new camera improvements and APIs in Android 5.0, shutter options, and a few other small tweaks.

Read: Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Date Rumored

Moto Display, touchless controls and the hands-free voice actions are all obviously still included, but until more details arrive we can’t be sure what else to expect. Again, this leakster claims this is a near final build being tested by multiple users, meaning we can expect to see the update sooner rather than later.

If this is accurate, members of the Motorola Feedback Network can expect test software in the coming weeks, and hopefully an official over the air update for multiple US carriers before the end of November. It took Motorola only a few weeks with Android 4.4 KitKat, and with the Nexus 6 being made by Motorola, they could be well on their way to being the first manufacturer with Lollipop updates as well.

Users can expect updates to the Moto X, the new Moto X, Moto G (both variants) the Moto E, and eventually carrier devices like the DROID Ultra and more.

We’ll be on the lookout for more details or updates from Motorola, and confirm any information as it becomes available.

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Moto X Android 5.0 Update Details Leak is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Best Android Phones [November, 2014]

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 00:01

5 Best Android Phones [November, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

If you’re in the market for a brand new Android phone this month, you’re going to be faced with a very difficult decision because the marketplace is chock full of top notch options ahead of the holidays. In an effort to help those in need, we take a look at the devices we think are the five Android best phones money can buy in the month of November.

Over the past 10 months, we’ve seen smartphone manufacturers unleash a number of big time Android smartphones. Early in the year, it was the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 that beckoned the hard earned cash of consumers. More recently, its been devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Nexus 6 and Moto X that have tempted consumers across the U.S. and around the world.

While it’s certainly nice to have that amount of choice, it presents problems for many people, especially those that don’t keep up with the fast paced world of Android phones. By our count, there is only one big smartphone release remaining and that’s the Nexus 6 from Motorola and Google. Picking out your next Android phone can be a struggle and that’s why we want to help those who are struggling with a decision.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about the best Android phones money can buy. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend, the smartphone smartphone market is full of solid choices, but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider to be the top five Android phones available.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five best Android phones for November, 2014.

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(Note: While we’ve gone hands on with the Nexus 6, we haven’t spent enough time with it to make an appropriate call. It, and the Sony Xperia Z3, receive consolation prizes this month.)

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Moto X1 / 5

Motorola's new Moto X had extremely big shoes to fill but it has filled them well. The new Moto X, also known as Moto X, delivers a powerful package. In some circles, the Moto X is considered the best Android smartphone on the market. In our opinion, it's one of the best Android phones ever made and one of the best smartphones you can buy right now.

The new Moto X offers a brand new design, a beautiful display, tons of of horsepower, a good camera, and extremely useful software. The device is essentially a Nexus smartphone with some nice Motorola features attached. If you like vanilla Android, this is a phone to look at this month.

Unlike some of these phones, the Moto X is cheap on-contract. And that low price should put it near the top of your shopping list during the month of November.

For more information about the Moto X, please check out our full review.

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5 Best Android Phones [November, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 Best Phones [November, 2014]

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 23:17

5 Best Phones [November, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

If you’re in the market for a brand new phone this month, you’re going to be faced with a very difficult decision because the smartphone marketplace is chock full of top notch options ahead of the holidays. In an effort to help those that are in need, we take a look at the devices we think are the five best phones money can buy in the month of November.

Over the past 10 months, we’ve seen smartphone manufacturers unleash a number of big time smartphones. Early in the year, it was the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 that beckoned the hard earned cash of consumers. More recently, its been devices like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and Moto X that have tempted consumers across the U.S. and around the world.

While it’s certainly nice to have that amount of choice, it presents problems for many people, especially those that don’t keep up with the fast paced world of phones. By our count, there is only one big smartphone release remaining and that’s the Nexus 6 from Motorola and Google. Picking out your next phone can be a struggle and that’s why we want to help those who are struggling with a decision.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about the best phones money can buy. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend, the smartphone smartphone market is full of solid choices, but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider to be the top five smartphones available.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five best phones for November, 2014.

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.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } iPhone 61 / 5

In September, Apple's new iPhone 6 replaceed the iPhone 5s as the company's high-end iPhone flagship. And like the iPhone 5s before it, the iPhone 6 is considered, by many, to be one of the best smartphones on the planet and a device that smartphone shoppers should look at before settling on a device this holiday season.

Apple's iPhone 6 comes with an assortment of top notch features including a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, a speedy A8 processor, a fantastic rear camera, a metal design, Touch ID fingerprint technology, tons of storage space, and the company's brand new iOS 8 operating system.

The iPhone 6 isn't cheap, it starts at $199.99, but those that buy into the new iPhone will be getting one of the best phones on the market and one that should last three years or more thanks to new iOS software updates. Apple tends to keep iPhones updated for three years before kicking them to the curb.

Before buying, have a look at our full length review to absorb the strengths and weakeness of one of the top smartphones money can buy.

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5 Best Phones [November, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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